Media release

Minister of Communications observe World Press Freedom Day

03 May 2016

3 May 2016

On this year’s World Press Day, Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi would like to congratulate all South African journalists, editors and publishers for the important role they continue to play in achieving the growth and development aspirations of this country.

“The freedom of the press and the right of access to information are enshrined in our Constitution, and as government we have no wish to see a deviation from this position,” she added.

“We affirm that all media should be free and have access to relevant information that is necessary for them to do their work. However, for their part media must ensure that this right is used responsibly and where possible, in the best interest of the country,” said Muthambi.

World Press Freedom Day is annually observed on May 3 to inform the international community that freedom of the press and freedom of expression are fundamental human rights. This day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO's General Conference.

Since then, 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day.

This year’s three aspects of press freedom are emphasised:

  • freedom of information as a fundamental freedom and as a human right
  • protecting press freedom from censorship and surveillance overreach
  • ensuring safety for journalism online and offline

Minister Muthambi has condemned “spewing of racist comments" on social media.  “As we observe World Press Freedom Day, the continued eruption of racism on social media is a concern, there is growing need to guard against that disruptive trend”, said Minister.

Mish Molakeng
Contact: 082 469 3997
Issued by GCIS on behalf of the Ministry of Communications

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